Tuesday, July 6, 2010

poem || Alan Sondheim

For Nicanor Parra

I came into cyberspace
in order to look at myself. I would
stand aside from myself and from my fingers.
I would look at language in orderly rows
coming from my mouth. A woman would flow
and she would create a thing. I would rush
into familiar words and at times
in the middle of a conversation
I would run into a conversation. A general
would appear carrying swords and knives and
a warrior. The white screen would never
beckon the dark, nor the grey, the color of
death. Colors poured into a vise a carpenter
would build with letters. The first building
was the building with letters. I have traced
you back, computer through computer, tool
behind tool, entire genealogies at work until
the very beginning. Here, I found
hand-axes starting to strike
metal. The metal was a dagger or a knife and I
could hear speech in the dagger, colors
glistened in the knife. Later,
there would be a wheel, and later, a pulley.
On a ceiling a pulley turned where belts
connected steam to tools milling shanks
for motors, electric relays, turned carbon
for telephones and lamps. Someone spoke
beneath the lamp and all was lost. Electrons
rushed in vacuo; things started turning and
memorized the axe into this space. Then,
I would watch this space, looking for signs
of me. I would look at myself and a woman.

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